Friday’s Mini-Report

FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* As expected, President Obama signed the tax deal into law today.

* Oh my: “The CIA has pulled its top spy out of Pakistan after terrorists threatened to kill him, current and former U.S. officials said, an unusual move for the U.S. and a complication on the front lines of the fight against al-Qaida.”

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested today, for the first time publicly, that the Senate may actually wrap up its work for the year before Christmas. It’s funny what the death of the omnibus can do to the calendar.

* Of course, with the death of the omnibus, funding the next stage of ACA implementation becomes a lot more difficult.

* Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) had hedged, just a little, on whether she’s a firm “yes” vote on a clean DADT repeal bill, but today she removed all doubt — she’ll side with the majority. By most counts, repeal supporters now total 61.

* The Food Safety Modernization Act was part of the omnibus. Republicans now have a new chance to kill the bill that passed the chamber with broad bipartisan support.

* For weeks, there have been 38 judicial nominations waiting for up-or-down votes. As of last night, there are 34 — the small Republican minority decided to let four of them get confirmation votes, and they were approved. Three of the four have waiting for a vote since May, the other since June.

* In addition to DADT repeal, the Senate will also move on the DREAM Act over the weekend. Attorney General Eric Holder offered a strong endorsement of the proposal earlier today.

* Fred Kaplan reviews the latest assessment of the war in Afghanistan. He’s not encouraged.

* Why nukes aren’t the only scary aspect of North Korean society.

* Best wishes to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) for a speedy recovery. The prognosis on his prostate cancer looks encouraging, thanks to doctors catching it early.

* The most entertaining part of my day was ready Jon Chait’s response to Nick Gillespie.

* Looking back at the BP oil spill disaster, it’s worth remembering that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) had no idea what he was talking about.

* I’m glad this effort failed: “Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), blaming Republicans, admitted defeat Friday in his long-shot bid to advance legislation this year that would delay looming Environmental Protection Agency climate change rules. Rockefeller — who says the rules will harm his coal-heavy state — had vowed Thursday to try and force a vote on the measure, but now admits it’s on ice for the year.”

* When Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) whines about a $165,000 earmark for maple-syrup research in Vermont, remember, there’s a lot to this that the senator doesn’t understand.

* “The Ph.D. Challenge” actually sounds pretty clever.

* And in the upcoming Thor movie, the role of mythical Nordic deity Heimdall will be played by an African-American actor. That has racists awfully upset. (thanks to readers D.N. and J.D.)

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.